Yom Kippur (Assorted Halachos)


1) It is customary to perform the ritual of kapparos in preparation for YomKippur. The custom consists of taking a chicken and gently passing it over one’s head three times while reciting the appropriate text. The fowl is then slaughtered in accordance with halachic procedure and its monetary worth given to the poor, or, as is more popular today, the chicken itself is donated to a charitable cause. We ask of Hashem that if we were destined to be the recipients of harsh decrees in the new year, may they be transferred to this chicken in the merit of this mitzvah of charity. (Rama 605)

2) A male takes a rooster while a female uses a hen. The Rama rules that a pregnant woman should perform kapparos with two chickens, a hen and a rooster. The rooster in case her baby is a boy and the hen in case it’s a girl. If the baby is a girl, the one hen is sufficient for both the mother and the daughter. However, according to the Ariz”l a pregnant woman should perform kapparos with three chickens, two hens and a rooster. One hen for herself, and the other hen and rooster for the unborn child (of undetermined gender). If taking three chickens is too expensive, she can rely on the Rama and take a hen and a rooster.
3) Harav Meir Brandesdorfer zt”l and Harav Yitzchak Weiss zt”l maintain that a woman who follows the Ari z”l and knows through the use of a sonogram that she is carrying twins should take five chickens, three hens and two roosters. (See Shu”t Koneh Bosem 2:20)
4) Harav Gavriel Zinner shlit”a (Netai Gavriel Y.K. page 88) writes that if the pregnancy is not yet forty days old, she need not take any extra chickens for the fetus.

5) Harav Zinner shlit”a adds that the pregnant woman need not take the multiple chickens at once. Rather, she can perform the ritual one chicken at a time.
Eating Erev Yom Kippur
1) There is a biblical mitzvah to eat on Erev Yom Kippur. (S.A. 604:1) The Rosh (Yoma 88) explains that the reason for the mitzvah was that Hashem wanted us to eat on Erev Yom Kippur in order for it to be easier to eat on Yom Kippur.

2) There is a discussion amongst the poskim whether there is a mitzvah to eat the night before Yom Kippur or only during the day on Erev YomKippur. (See Magen Avraham, 604:1 citing Shlah, Gra, and Aishel Avraham Botchetch) Most authorities maintain that the main mitzvah begins the morning of Erev Yom Kippur. (See Chazon Ovadia Yomim Noraim Erev Yom Kippur)
3) There is a discussion amongst the poskim whether women are obligated in this mitzvah to eat on Erev Yom Kippur. (See Rav Akiva Eiger Shu”t 16 and Chochmas Shlomo 604) Most authorities maintain that women are obligated to eat. (See Chazon Ovadia Yomim Noraim Erev Yom Kippur)
4) One may discuss on Yom Kippur (not during davening) what he plans on eating after Yom Kippur. Even though one may not discuss on Shabbos what prohibited actions he plans on doing after Shabbos, discussing eating on Yom Kippur is not considered prohibited speech. (Halichos Shlomo Yom Kippur)
Taking Medication
1) The poskim permit taking a bitter tasting pill on Yom Kippur for an incapacitated person.(See Igros Moshe 3:91, Shearim Metzuyanim B’Halacha 133:9, Rav Shlomo Zalman Aeurbach zt”l in Shulchan Shlomo Refua vol. 2 page 192 and Netai Gavriel Y.K. page 274)
2) An incapacitated person is someone whose pain is so severe that he stays in bed, e.g. someone with a severe cold, the flu, or a migraine. (Refer to Shulchan Aruch O.C. 328:17 and Chut Shani vol. 4 page 197) Furthermore, when an illness causes a person so much pain or discomfort that he or she cannot function normally, they are considered to be incapacitated. He or she may not take water with the pill. (Shulchan Shlomo ibid.)
3) Someone who has pain but not severe enough to incapacitate them, such as a headache that is not a severe migraine, is not permitted to swallow a pill.
4) The incapacitated woman should not swallow a pill that has a sweet coating. (Shulchan Shlomo Refua vol.2 page 274)
5) Rav Gavriel Zinner shlit”a (Netai Gavriel Yom Kippur page 277) writes that it is preferred for the incapacitated person to leave shul to take a nap, if that will ease the pain and avoid the necessity of medicine, rather than stay in shul and take medicine.
Eating For A Choleh
1) A pregnant woman must fast on Yom Kippur. (S.A. 517:1) Someone whose life may be in danger by fasting on Yom Kippur is obligated to eat. Not all cholim who are obligated to eat on Yom Kippur have the same halachic dispensation. There are cholim (who may be in danger) whose illness only warrants minimal eating or drinking. Minimal consumption is termed pachos mi’keshiur, or “shiurim”. Eating in shiurim means eating not more than a prescribed amount within a prescribed period of time.
2) At times a doctor will forbid a pregnant woman from fasting if she suffers from high blood pressure, diabetes, or if she has experienced miscarriages in the past. A pregnant woman must therefore consult with her doctor and her rabbi before Yom Kippur to see if she can fast. Even if the doctor and rabbi advise her to eat she must ascertain whether eating and drinking pachos m’kishiur would suffice. We will therefore discuss the laws of eating on Yom Kippur for a choleh, however, every woman must discuss her particular situation with her rabbi, because everyone’s circumstances and specific needs are unique.
3) In the event that one must eat or drink on Yom Kippur, one should first say the following prayer:
הנני מוכן ומזומן לקיים מצות אכילה ושתיה כמו שכתבת בתורתך, ושמרתם את חוקתי ואת משפטי אשר יעשה אותה האדם וחי בהם, ובזכות קיום מצוה זו, תחתום אותי ואת כל חולי עמך ישראל לרפואה שלימה, ואזכה ביום הכפורים הבא לקיים שוב ועניתם את נפשותיכם. כן יהי רצון, אמן.
“I am about to fulfill the mitzvah of eating and drinking, as You wrote in Your Torah, ‘And you shall keep My statutes and My laws that one must do and live through them.’ In the merit of fulfilling this mitzvah, please seal my decree, and that of all those who are ill among Your nation Yisrael, for a complete recovery. Next Yom Kippur, may I merit to fulfill once again the mitzvah of ‘you shall afflict your souls [through fasting].’ May this be Your will, Amen.” (See Netai Gavriel Yom Kippur Page 295)
4) Eating- On Yom Kippur the pachos mi’keshiur requirement for food is the volume of food that is less than a koseves hagasa, a type of large date. Harav Moshe Heinemenn shlit”a explains that the volumetric measurement of a koseves hagasa is more than 1.5 fl. oz. (44 ml). Therefore, one who is ill (as above) may eat 1.5 fl. oz. (which is less than a koseves hagasah) of food. Harav Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes, “The common custom is to give one who is ill pieces of bread with a condiment the size of 30 grams (1.05 oz.).”
5) One should preferably measure out the food before Yom Kippur. However, if one did not do so one may measure the food on Yom Kippur. (Chazon Ovadia Yomim Noraim page 297)
6) In between eating sessions one must wait kdei achilas pras, the amount of time it takes to eat a pras of bread. The poskim debate how many minutes it takes to eat a pras of bread:
A) According to the Chasam Sofer (6:15)- 9 minutes.  This is also the view of the Mishnah Berurah (618:22).
B) The Baal Hatania is cited as ruling that it is 8 minutes. (See Shiurei Torah by Rav Chaim Naeh page 204)
C) According to the Aruch Lner (Bikurei Yaakov 639:13)- 7.5 minutes. This is also the view of Harav Dovid Tzvi Hoffman zt”l. (Melamed L’Hoeil 113:5)
D) There are conflicting reports of the view of the Tzemech Tzedek. One report from the Tzemach Tzedek is 7 minutes. While another report from the Tzemach Tzedek is 6 minutes. (See Shulchan Menachem page 43 and Katzos Hashulchan 2:36:5) Harav Ovadia Yosef zt”l (Yabia Omer 9:108:96) writes that, “The proper amount of time (kdei achilas pras) in accordance with most authorities is between 6 and 7.5 minutes.”
E) Harav Yitzchak Elchonon Spekter zt”l is cited as ruling that one should wait 5 minutes. (See Chazon Ovadia Yamim Noraim page 298)
F) Harav Moshe Feinstein zt”l (Igros Moshe Orach Chaim 4:41) writes that while one should wait on Yom Kippur 9 minutes, if this is difficult one may wait half that amount (4.5 minutes).
G) It should be noted that Harav Ahron Felder zt”l writes that Harav Moshe told him that a choleh should wait 4 minutes between eating sessions on Yom Kippur. (Rishumei Ahron vol. 2 page 47)
H) The Shemiras Shabbos K’Hilchoso (Chapter 39:18) cites the Chasam Sofer that at the very least one should wait 2 minutes between eating sessions.
7) For practical halacha, one should wait 9 minutes between eating sessions. If this does not suffice and the person must eat more frequently they should wait as long as she can, depending on her state of health. At all events, one should wait for a period of at least 2 minutes. (Shemiras Shabbos K’Hilchoso ibid.)
8) Drinking- The minimal volume for beverages that qualifies for shiurim is less than a m’lo lugmav, a cheekful of liquid. Unlike food, the shiur of liquids differs with each individual’s capacity to hold liquid in his or her mouth. The larger the mouth, the larger the m’lo lugmav. Conversely, the smaller the mouth, the smaller the m’lo lugmav. (S.A. 612:9) Harav Moshe Heinemann shlit”a explains that for purposes of drinking on Yom Kippur we say an average adult has a m’lo lugmav that is larger than 1.5 fl. oz. (44 ml). A teenager may have a smaller m’lo lugmav.
9) One can ascertain his or her personal m’lo lugmav by filling his mouth completely with water, expelling the water into a measuring cup and dividing the amount in half. This number is the amount held by one cheek – a m’lo lugmav. Pachos mi’keshiur is slightly less than this amount. This “test” should preferably be conducted before Yom Kippur. (M.B. 618:21)
10) How long should one wait between drinking sessions. Ideally, one should wait 9 minutes between drinking, as one would ideally wait between eating sessions. (Chazon Ovadia Yomim Noraim page 297) If this amount of liquid is insufficient for the patient, one may drink this amount of liquid every two minutes. (View of Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l Rishumei Ahron vol. 2 page 47)
11) If it is determined that this amount is insufficient and one’s life may still be in danger, the patient must drink as much as necessary, even if it is more than the shiur of volume and less than the shiur of time.
12) If staying in bed will help prevent the patient from eating, even one session, in shiurim, she should stay in bed and not go to shul. (Shemiras Shabbos K’Hilchoso 39:28)
13) A patient who has to eat in shiurim must not eat or drink more than he or she needs that day in order to keep him or her out of danger. (Shemiras Shabbos K’Hilchoso 39:26)
14) It must be remembered that eating or drinking in shiurim is permitted only if the doctor and rabbi require it and that a person who is ill but is not in danger must not eat or drink at all, even if confined to bed.
Brachos and Kiddush- A pregnant woman who has to eat or drink on Yom Kippur should recite the proper bracha rishona before doing so. Once she has done so, she should not repeat it before every eating session, unless she has, during the pause, diverted her attention from the food or drink by going out of the house or by deciding to no longer eat or drink. (Shemiras Shabbos K’Hilchoso 39:21)
If she eats 1.27 ounces of food within four minutes, she should recite a bracha achrona. If
that amount was eaten in a period of time exceeding four minutes, it is questionable whether or not to recite a bracha achrona may be made and a bracha should not be recited. (Rav Elyashiv zt”l in Vsein Bracha page 247)
In either case, she does not recite a bracha achrona on the drinks that she drank in shiurim. (Shemiras Shabbos K’Hilchoso ibid.)
One who is eating on Yom Kippur does not recite Kiddush. (M.B. 618:29) If Yom Kippur is on Shabbos, the poskim debate whether one must recite Kiddush before eating. (Kaf Hachaim 618:60)
If she is eating bread, she need not have lechem mishnah. (Magen Avraham 10)
If she is eating bread, she must wash her hands fully as she would the rest of the year. (Rav Shlomo Zalman zt”l in Shemiras Shabbos K’Hilchos page 516)
If she is going to eat more than a kebaytzah of bread (2.53 oz.), she must wash her hands with a bracha. (M.B. 158:9)
If she is going to eat less than a kebaytzah (2.53 oz.) but more than a kezayis of bread (1.27 oz.), she should wash without a bracha. (M.B. 10)
If she is going to eat less than a kezayis of bread (1.27 oz.), the poskim debate whether she must wash her hands without a bracha or whether she is completely exempt from washing. It is proper to be strict to wash without a bracha.
If she eats 1.27 ounces of bread within four minutes, she recites birchas hamazon. In birchas hamazon, she should add the יעלה ויבוא prayer, with the insertion of the words, ביום הכפורים הזה. On Shabbos, the רצה prayer should be added. Nevertheless, if she finishes the blessing in which these prayers are always added and then realizes that she has forgotten either or both of them, there is no need to say birchas hamazon again.
A person who has to eat on Yom Kippur and eats, for example, cake or dates should insert the words “וזכרנו לטובה ביום הכפורים הזה” in the al hamichya or al hapeiros blessing which she says afterwards.
Question: Throughout the Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur davening we constantly open the Aron Kodesh. My question is I know many people stand up when the Aron is opened, however, is that required?
Answer: You are correct that it is customary to stand up when the Aron is opened. Therefore, one should definitely stand up if they can as this is the custom and if one does not do so it may be perceived by others as a slight to the Aron. (Refer to Aruch Hashulchan Y.D. 282:13) The only question is if one is older and standing is difficult is one allowed to remain seated. In this situation no one would perceive it as a slight to the Torah.
The only question is whether standing is an obligation, which would require the older person to stand, or is it merely customary. The view of the Taz (Y.D. 242:13) is that one is technically not required to stand when the Aron is opened during the Yomim Noraim davening as the Torah is in a separate domain. The Panim Meiros (74) disagrees and maintains that if one can see the Sifrei Torah (he is sitting in front of the Aron) he is obligated to stand. The majority of the poskim agree with the view of the Taz. Therefore, if one is older and is having a difficult time standing, one may rule leniently. (Refer to Kovetz Halachos Yomim Noraim page 94).